New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 8, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
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6 A □ Herakl-Zeitung □ Wednesday, November 8,1995Canyon Lake woman sentenced In tampering case
By 9USAN FLYNT ENGLAND
A Canyon Lake woman, Pamela Board, was sentenced last Wednesday after a felony conviction of tampering with a witness, Betty Crist The trial followed a string of incidents dating back to a 1993 dog-at-large case.
Board, 48, will not have to spend more time in jail for this conviction.
As part of a sentencing agreement, a two-year sentence in the state prison was reduced to four years probation.
Board was sentenced to serve 60 days in the county jail.
Pamela Board convicted for harassing witness in federal lawsuit
She also, however, was given credit for time served, which more than equals the 60 days.
She was also sentenced to pay a $100 fine and serve 120 hours of community service.
Board was indicted for harassing Crist because of an affidavit Crist gave. The affidavit was filed when Board filed a federal lawsuit against Comal County and other defendants in March 1995, said Dib Waldrip, assistant district attorney and prosecuting attorney in the case.
“That’s what I believe the case to be about,” Waldrip said.
“The affidavit’s not strictly correct, and Miss Crist will agree to that,” said Wade Arledge, Board’s attorney in the case The affidavit contained a statement Crist had given to Justice of the Peace Curly Smith shortly after the 1993 dog-at-large case.
Crist said Board had told her Board had a jury list that would get Smith in trouble.
Board sent Crist several letters asking her to change the affidavit, frightening Crist.
Two cases from October and December 1994 were dismissed as a part of the sentencing agreement, Waldrip said, and a protective order was issued to keep Board from further harassing Crist.
“I think the jury should be thanked for doing their duty, based on the evidence that they were allowed to hear,” said Arledge.
District Judge Charles Ramsay ruled the two 1994 cases were not admissible as evidence in the witness tampering case. “We think they should have been able to hear the other evi
dence,” Arledge said.
The two 1994 cases would help show Board’s state of mind when she filed the federal lawsuit and when she wrote the letters to Crist. “We didn’t present any defensive evidence — we just closed the case,” Arledge said.
The defense plans to appeal the tampering conviction, he said, “to decide whether that other evidence should have been admitted.” Crist perceived herself to be a witness, Waldrip said. “She had information about what she regarded to be a crime.
“Whether we’re talking about murder or minor theft, witnesses in Comal County need to know they can testify and be safe,” he said.
dismissed as part of
Pamela Board was no stranger to Comal County law enforcement between her 1993 dog-at-large conviction and last week’s conviction for tampering with a witness.
She also ran unsuccessfully against Justice of the Peace Curly Smith in the November 1994 election.
Charges from both of the following arrests were dismissed as part of last week’s sentencing agreement. “She’s spent some time in jail already,” said Assistant District Attorney Dib Waldrip.
Board went to the courthouse to look up some records or get copies in October 1994, Waldrip said;
She noticed that Smith was smoking in his office and tried to make a citizen’s arrest, since smoking is illegal in the courthouse.
Board seized the ashtray and 911 was called, Waldrip said.
The incident ended up in a car chase with Board eluding a rolling road block and finally being stopped with a full road block, he said.
Officers claimed they had to force Board out of the car and Board claimed that the officers mistreated her and used excessive force, Waldnp said.
Another incident began with a Sept. 1994 traffic ticket, which had no date to appear in court on it. Board requested a jury trial for the
ticket, and Smith ended up scheduling the trial for Dec. 13, Waldrip said.
Board, meanwhile, had thought she filed a motion for him to remove himself from the case.
Smith claimed the motion was invalid, because it had been slid under the office door after hours.
When the December court date rolled around, Board appeared late. By the time she came, Smith had filed a failure to appear warrant, and officers tried to arrest Board.
Another car chase began, this time venturing off the road ami ending up in front of Board’s mother’s home.
A window of Board’s vehicle was broken during the chase and arrest.
“In my opinion, these incidents have no bearing on the tampering case,” Waldrip said.
District Judge Charles Ramsay disallowed testimony linking the cases to the witness tampering case.
Defense attorney Wade Arledge wanted to include the two 1994 cases as evidence.
“If the jury had understood it in a bigger picture, they might not think Pamela Board intentionally tried to scare Miss Crist,” Arledge said.Board’s sentence follows string of incidents
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
A Canyon Lake woman, Pamela Board, was sentenced Wednesday after a felony conviction of tampering with a witness, Betty Crist. The trial followed a string of incidents dating back to a 1993 dog-at-large
The Dog Case and the Legal Pad
After being convicted in a dog-at-large case in Justice of the Peace Curly Smith’s court, Board got a hold of a yellow legal pad which had the name of the trial’s jurors written on it.
Crist told authorities Board showed her the tablet and said, “Look, I stole this jury list from Judge Smith’s office. This is not a jury list, but just a list of his friends he brought in for jury duty. I’m going to get him in a lot of trouble with this jury list. Look at this page; Judge Smith is so dumb that he has to write down how to get into his computer,” according to court records.
Board claimed in a later federal lawsuit that the tablet came into her possession by accident — “Upon resolution of the trial, Plaintiff picked up the tablet along with her other papers. Later, when she realized she had the tablet, she simply filed it with her other papers, as she knew she was entitled to a list of the jury, and she considered it such,” the lawsuit said.
Board was entitled to an official jury list, said Assistant District Attorney Dib Waldrip, but that tablet was not it.
Constable Edward C. Mullins called Board for about a week after the loose dog trial, trying to get her to return the tablet, Waldrip said, even contacting Board’s mother.
A warrant for Board’s arrest was issued around March 17,1993, Waldrip said. Mullins went to arrest .Board, and she escaped out of a back window, he said. • An escape warrant was filed, and Board pled no contest, Waldrip said.
,( The Two Other Cases
Board went head-to-head with Comal County law
enforcement on two separate cases in late 1994. Board was limning against Smith in the Nov. 1994 for justice of the peace.
One incident began with a Sept. 1994 traffic ticket. The other happened in Dec. 1994 and involved Crist trying to make a citizen’s arrest against Smith for smoking in his office. Both incidents ended up in police car chases where Board was evidently caught and arrested.
The Federal Suit
Board filed a federal lawsuit in San Antonio on March 7, 1995, naming defendants Comal County, Sheriff Jack Bremer, County Judge Carter Casteel, Justice of the Peace Howard “Curly” Smith, Constable Edward C. Mullins, and Deputy Constable William A. KJare.
The suit claimed the defendants caused Board physical damages, loss of income, loss of reputation, mental anguish, ridicule and libel, among other things, according to the court record. The suit demanded a jury trial, which has yet to be held.
The ordeals of Board’s Oct. and Dec. arrests were part of the reason she filed the lawsuit, said Wade Arledge, Board’s attorney in the tampering case.
Bickerstaff, Heath and Smiley, L.L.P., attorneys for the defendants in Board’s suit, filed an affidavit on Aug. 2, 1995, including what Crist said she heard Board say about the legal pad back in March 1993.
The defendants’ attorneys also asked for a summary judgment on Board’s suit when they filed the affidavit The Letters
Board wrote several letters to Crist after the affidavit was filed. They are now part of the court record.
“Demand letters” to a witness are not uncommon, and perfectly legal, Waldrip said. They are written when a party in a case believes that part of the witness’s testimony is not true. They ask the witness to retract that part of the testimony and inform that the party will use the legal means available to get a true testimony from that witness, he said.
“From my perspective, these are not demand letters, they are threats,” Waldnp said.
A letter dated Aug. 23,1995, alleges:
■ “...you quit the post office (or whatever) and opened a liquor store in close proximity to the elementary school.”
■ “Over a period of time I came to realize that the local law enforcement both on and off duty were purchasing their liquor from you — and you were selling it to them even in uniform while on duty.” (Crist operates the Toddy Shop liquor store in Canyon Lake.)
The above assertions are libelous, Waldrip said, aside from the threats that followed if Crist did not retract statements made in the affidavit.
■ “You will be joined in the federal lawsuit...”
■ “You will be sued for 13 1/2 million dollars and if you cannot prove the things you allege in your affidavit you will surely lose and be liable in the amount of all that you own.”
Board posted the above letter at the Canyon Lake Post office and the Mountain Valley Pharmacy, Waldrip said, as well as hand delivering it to Crist.
District Judge Charles Ramsay ruled the two 1994 cases as inadmissible in the tampering case. “She didn’t file the lawsuit until after her troubles of Dec. 1994,” Arledge said. “She felt wronged and she’s trying to seek her remedies.
Board claims that Crist’s affidavit has some incorrect information. “Pamela Board is a regular customer of my store,” the affidavit states.
Board asserts that at the time of the affidavit, she was not a regular customer of the liquor store Crist owns in Sattler, Arledge said.
Board’s letters to Crist amount to the same as a “demand” letter, a procedure lawyers use frequently, he said.
“She has a right to determine whether the affidavit was tine or false,” Arledge said.
Board intentionally coerced Betty Crist, prospective witness in the federal suit, by threatening to expose Crist to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, with the intent to make Crist testify falsely or face a lawsuit, Waldrip said.
(I to r) Grosse Opa Helmuth Salge and his wife, Doris, Join Berdyne and Myron Florsn, and Marianne and
I Bob Smith as they enjoy cake at Myron’s annual birthday celebration during Wurstfasi. Tho popular antsr-tainer has celebrated his birthday, Nov. 5, In New Braunfels at Wurstfost for 28 years.
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